RAID 0: Great For Benchmarks, Not So Much In The Real World
They're a funny thing, SSD benchmarks. You can run synthetics all day long and create these unrealistically demanding workloads that make solid-state storage look one way. Then, you can tinker around with real-world metrics that paint another picture entirely.
For enthusiasts, the truth often lies somewhere in between. A majority of the tasks we perform do tend to involve basic operations like opening Web browsers, editing images, composing email, and watching video. But sometimes we do need big performance from our systems: compiling a big project, moving tens of gigabytes of media files, or capturing uncompressed AVIs for FCAT analysis. In those instances, you want responsiveness on demand.
As we expected, twin SSDs in RAID 0 post phenomenal numbers when we hammer them with sequential reads and writes. Twin 256 GB 840 Pros nearly hit 1 GB/s in both disciplines. Largely as a result of the SATA 6Gb/s interface, single drives max out at a little more than half of those numbers.
The RAID-based configurations undoubtedly scored the first touchdown given exceptional sequential results, but the game didn't end there. Individual SSDs regained ground in the tests that followed, even posting better scores in some of them. Random I/O performance is a good example. Striped drives are certainly better equipped to push more IOPS, but only when you're stacking commands more than four high. Jumping up to a queue depth of 32, 16, or even eight is really uncommon in a desktop or workstation environment. As a result, the performance differences are far less pronounced in the real world.
One SSD on its own scores again in the contrived tests we put together. The performance differences when we boot up and shut down Windows 8, then fire up different applications, are marginal at best and not noticeable in practice. Single drives actually manage to outperform the striped arrays some of the time, even.
If you're planning an upgrade and want to know whether to buy a couple of 128 GB drives and put them in RAID 0 or just grab a single 256 GB SSD, for example, the answer still seems clear enough to us: just grab the large drive and use one. Using Samsung's 840 Pros as an example, a pair of 128 GB drives will run you $300 on Newegg right now. The 256 GB model sells for $240 (maybe that's why it's out of stock currently). There's also the issue of reliability. If one drive in a RAID 0 configuration fails, the entire array is lost. At least for a primary system drive, one SSD on its own is safer.
There are of course exceptions. SATA 6Gb/s currently limits us to 500+ MB/s reads and sub-500 MB/s writes. Sometimes, that's just not enough. Just take those raw AVI captures mentioned earlier as an example. We use four Crucial m4s in RAID 0 to make sure we aren't dropping any frames. In a case like that, RAID 0 is a must-have, and the fact that only captured video resides on the array means that a failure would be a fairly superficial loss (except the cost of the drive). If you have an application like that, well, then you already know what you need, and you know that a large, single drive isn't going to get the job done.
2nd kind of cool, right?
If you don't care about the speed boost of RAID 0 I would suggest you not RAID 0 them but just use them separately as two 512GB drives. By doing this you have less risk of losing all of your data because your data won't be mixed through both drives.
KamabPutting them in RAID0 doubles your chance of data failure, aka either drive fails and you probably lose everything.
Which was already stated in the article/benchmark. Real world differences are too small, maybe even worse in half of the tests. One positive is for the raw video captures like at the end of the article.
RAID 0 is useful for setups such as large read-only NFS servers where mounting many disks is time-consuming or impossible and redundancy is irrelevant.
RAID 0 is also used in some gaming systems where performance is desired and data integrity is not very important. However, real-world tests with games have shown that RAID-0 performance gains are minimal, although some desktop applications will benefit.
"We were hoping to see some sort of performance increase in the game loading tests, but the RAID array didn't give us that. While the scores put the RAID-0 array slightly slower than the single drive Raptor II, you should also remember that these scores are timed by hand and thus, we're dealing within normal variations in the "benchmark".
Our Unreal Tournament 2004 test uses the full version of the game and leaves all settings on defaults. After launching the game, we select Instant Action from the menu, choose Assault mode and select the Robot Factory level. The stop watch timer is started right after the Play button is clicked, and stopped when the loading screen disappears. The test is repeated three times with the final score reported being an average of the three. In order to avoid the effects of caching, we reboot between runs. All times are reported in seconds; lower scores, obviously, being better. In Unreal Tournament, we're left with exactly no performance improvement, thanks to RAID-0
If you haven't gotten the hint by now, we'll spell it out for you: there is no place, and no need for a RAID-0 array on a desktop computer. The real world performance increases are negligible at best and the reduction in reliability, thanks to a halving of the mean time between failure, makes RAID-0 far from worth it on the desktop.
Bottom line: RAID-0 arrays will win you just about any benchmark, but they'll deliver virtually nothing more than that for real world desktop performance. That's just the cold hard truth."
".....we did not see an increase in FPS through its use. Load times for levels and games was significantly reduced utilizing the Raid controller and array. As we stated we do not expect that the majority of gamers are willing to purchase greater than 4 drives and a controller for this kind of setup. While onboard Raid is an option available to many users you should be aware that using onboard Raid will mean the consumption of CPU time for this task and thus a reduction in performance that may actually lead to worse FPS. An add-on controller will always be the best option until they integrate discreet Raid controllers with their own memory into consumer level motherboards."
"However, many have tried to justify/overlook those shortcomings by simply saying "It's faster." Anyone who does this is wrong, wasting their money, and buying into hype. Nothing more."
"The real-world performance benefits possible in a single-user PC situation is not a given for most people, because the benefits rely on multiple independent, simultaneous requests. One person running most desktop applications may not see a big payback in performance because they are not written to do asynchronous I/O to disks. Understanding this can help avoid disappointment."
"What about performance? This, we suspect, is the primary reason why so many users doggedly pursue the RAID 0 "holy grail." This inevitably leads to dissapointment by those that notice little or no performance gain.....As stated above, first person shooters rarely benefit from RAID 0.__ Frame rates will almost certainly not improve, as they are determined by your video card and processor above all else. In fact, theoretically your FPS frame rate may decrease, since many low-cost RAID controllers (anything made by Highpoint at the tiem of this writing, and most cards from Promise) implement RAID in software, so the process of splitting and combining data across your drives is done by your CPU, which could better be utilized by your game. That said, the CPU overhead of RAID0 is minimal on high-performance processors."
And as far as data loss in case of failure, don't use an SSD to store you data, use a separate HDD to store any important data(I have a 2TB drive).
However it all comes to opinion, some users don't want to worry about RAID nor take the time to setup(I don't blame them either).